Category Archives: Sauce

St. Crispy Bacon’s Day, or I Feel Sorry For Jews

Well, I haven’t posted in about 48 months, due to laziness, a breakup, a layoff, and laziness.  The good thing is that I have a lot of stored up pics and potential posts.  Too bad nobody reads this thing.  Maybe if I post more than once a year people will check it out.  I feel sorry for them if they don’t, because they’ll miss this one.  In the credit where credit is due dept, I saw this on another site sent to me by a friend.  They call it the Bacon Explosion, and it’s all the rage with the kids these days.  I call it the Bacon Log, or “Blog” for short (that’s a new word I just made up).  Anyway, I had to try it.  So I called a few guys I know who love bacon flavored anything and told them to come over one Saturday.  I’ve never tried to smoke anything on my little Aussie Bushman elite grill, but I figured it was worth a shot.  So I went to BBQ Galore and got a meat thermometer, some rub (Bad Byron’s Butt Rub), a smoker box (cast iron, small) and some hickory chips.  Oh, and a tin foil pan to catch drippins.

So I started off by soaking the wood chips in the pan.

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Next I cooked up a batch of bacon (one package).  I like it crispy, so that’s how I made it.

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After snacking that entire package of bacon and chasing it down with a box of salt, I made another one.  Then I chopped it up.

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Next, I made the bacon weave.  If you had interrupted my Dungeons & Dragons game at age 13 to tell me I would someday master bacon weaving, I probably would have laughed about that for days.  I’m not sure what that means.

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Hannibal Lecter would be proud.

By this time I have the grill on super low heat, the lowest it will go, and I put the drained hickory chips in the smoker box and put it on the grill off in the corner (I used the lower rack for the smoker box, and the top rack for the blog).  I had also bought a surface thermometer, and that went on the top rack.  The guy told me that the surface temp would be about 150 degrees hotter than the general climate temp inside the grill, so I was planning to use that as a gauge.  Next comes the sausage layer.  I used a mixture of hot and sweet Italian sausage.

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Pigtastic.

Next I added the chopped up cooked bakey bits.  Then I seasoned it with the rub and some Italian dry seasoning I had.

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A Porkaleidoscope.

Last came a drizzle of BBQ sauce.  I used a mix of Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ and Trader Joe’s, which has a little kick to it.

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Now for the roll.  I carefully rolled the sausage forward…

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Someday I will build a bacon fence that you can eat.

Then tucked in the ends and sealed the seam and carefully rolled it back.

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I've washed my hands 13 times by now.

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That's right.

Last, another coat of rub.

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Then off to the grill.

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I put a drip pan under it to catch the fat runoff.  Do NOT skip this step, as I’ve heard tell of bacon logs catching on fire from flaming fat fallout.

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This pleases me to no end.

Ah, so clean.  Not for long…

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And later…

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Mmmmm...black pig sludge....

That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout.

Next I let it rest for about ten minutes.  It was REALLY hard not to cut into it right away.  In the meantime I busied myself with brushing a good thick coat of BBQ sauce on that sumbitch.

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How could this get any better?

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Oh yeah, that's how.

Here it is being served.  Explicit content warning – the narrator works a bit blue toward the end of the video.  You’ve been warned.

And the finished product:

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Do you see the steam? It was almost a sin to eat it. But not.

It took a little longer than normal, about 3 hours, because I kept checking it and letting all the heat out.  And the temp never got hot enough to produce any smoke whatsoever from the wood chips.  So it wasn’t really smoked at all.  But I have to say it was spectacular.  Being the cook, I went for seconds.  Only a few of us pigs got two pieces, and it was actually a mistake.  We could literally feel our sodium counts go up as the blood pressures rose and we started hearing each other’s heartbeats.  My buddy JT actually had to take a knee, and a couple of us hallucinated.  I wish I was kidding.  But it was the best thing ever.  You had to be there.  In fact, here’s a poem dedicated to those happy few who took on the challenge (my apologies to The Bard).

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Shhhh…I’m Hunting Rarebit

The phrase “A Bachelor Cooks” in this blog’s title is somewhat of a misnomer, because while I do cook, I also intend to just write about food, whether it’s a food item I saw in the store, a restaurant excursion, or even something someone else cooked. I also fully intend to start each post with an incredibly long run-on sentence. Check.

My friends Mike and Marcia invite me over for supper far more often than common courtesy would require. And yes, I say supper. My dad was from the East Coast, ok? Anyway, I suspect they may be entering that phase of their relationship where they are sick of each other’s faces and welcome any distraction. Or I suppose they could just be really nice people. But they like me, so that can’t be the case. It’s a paradox.

I love their kitchen dynamic. I’ve told them on several occasions that they should have a cooking show together. I suggest the following titles:

Cooking & Fighting With M & M

Let Me Show You Why You’re Doing That Wrong

Get The Hell Out Of My Way

Do You See The Mistake You Made?

No, Really, Don’t Get Up. I Think You Stopped The House From Burning Down Last Time.

Um…My Wine Glass Is Empty. Ahem.

Yes, Baby, You ARE DOING IT WRONG.

Um, Babe? That’s On Fire. BABE.

Do You Want To Do This? DO YOU WANT TO DO THIS? OK THEN.

I kid, I kid. It’s actually quite fun to watch them. It’s not serious fighting. Mostly. They have learned to take a barb and hurl it right back without batting an eye. It’s kind of what I want in a relationship, actually. Without the knives.

Right here I have to say that M & M are such good sports, they hopped right on board and took all the pictures for me since I hadn’t brought my camera. Mike even had to charge the thing in between shots. I guess they are good people.

Last night they had me over for Welsh Rarebit. Since you’re too lazy to read the Wikipedia article I worked so hard to link to for you just now, I’ll give you the rundown.

1. It’s widely accepted that the term Welsh “rarebit” comes from the term Welsh “rabbit.”
2. There is no rabbit in this dish whatsoever. Rarebit is a cheese sauce.

There are a couple theories on this. One is that the Welsh were too poor to eat rabbit, which was a dish reserved for nobles with money. Paupers had access to cheese, so they used that. Another theory is that the cheese dish was called Welsh rarebit because cheese was inferior to meat (debatable) and all things Welsh were considered inferior by the Brits. I hope this doesn’t come as a shock to my old roommate from Chicago, who’s name is actually Briton and who moved to Wales to marry a Welshman.

Now there are ways to make this key ingredient (the cheese sauce) from scratch. It sounds pretty damn good, actually. It involves mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and beer. But that takes, you know, work. I may try it some day, but in the mean time, there’s an excellent option from the Stouffer’s brand line of food products.

It’s even mentioned in the Wikipedia article, so it must be true. While I’m maybe not the typical bachelor in that I mostly avoid frozen foods, this one is highly recommended. And if you REALLY want to go the bachelor route, you kick the convenience up a notch. How do I do that, you ask?

With READY TO SERVE BACON. That’s right, folks. We can put a man on the moon, we can give you microwaveable bacon. I can’t begin to tell you the skepticism with which I faced this. I was not a believer. But you know what? It ain’t bad! And you don’t have a big ass pan of grease to deal with afterward.

So, here’ the recipe. The traditional Welsh Rarebit is just cheese sauce on toast. Good, but boring. This much more interesting arrangement comes from Marcia’s late mother. I wish I could have met her to tell her it’s delicious.

First, prepare some trimmed, healthy asparagus stalks. I usually saute asparagus to keep it crispy, but M & M slowly blanch them in a pan of water. They’re still firm, but a bit less crispy than if sauteed. It actually works out better for this dish.

Microwave the bacon while the asparagus is in the Jacuzzi.

Now heat up yer rabbit. Mmmm….cheese rabbit…..

Next, cut up a baguette into slices and toast lightly. Arrange on sides of plate. Put the asparagus in the middle.

Cover the bread with bacon…

and sliced tomatoes.

If you’re asked to bring one or two medium-sized tomatoes over and you stop at the Asian market and the only fresh ripe ones they have are hobbit-sized, bring four of those and smile when Marcia mocks them.

Cover the whole thing with the piping hot cheesy goodness. Enjoy.

Thanks to M & M!